5 Unique Water Features that Attract Wildlife to Your Garden’s Aquatic Habitats


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Watching birds splash in a bird bath is a beloved pastime. However, these garden ornaments have much more to offer than aesthetics and entertainment.

Wildlife-friendly water features transform your backyard into an aquatic habitat for local species, providing nourishment and shelter to birds, insects, pollinators, amphibians, and other animals.

There are numerous options for installing a water feature in the garden. This guide can help you determine which elements work best for your yard.

The Importance of Backyard Aquatic Habitats

The U.S. has lost nearly 150 million acres of natural habitat to urbanization. Meanwhile, monoculture lawns cover 40 million acres of U.S. land. The loss of ecosystems has had detrimental effects on local wildlife, driving them from their burrows, trees, and natural water bodies in search of food and safety.

Sadly, their decline exacerbates ecological collapse as regions can no longer support the species left behind.

A good steward learns to live in harmony with local species, ensuring comfort for themselves and delivering optimal conditions for animals and plants to thrive. By slowly restoring your yard, you can attract wildlife deemed essential for a healthy ecosystem.

5 Wildlife-Friendly Water Features

A bird bath is standard in many backyard gardens. However, you may consider adding other wildlife-friendly water features to lure more diverse species.

Here are five unique water features you can install in your garden.

1. Fountains

fountains-to-attract-wildlife-to-garden’s-aquatic-habitatsSound travels much further than you think. As such, a trickling fountain can attract birds, frogs and small rodents like squirrels and chipmunks. When wildlife hears gentle water noises, they’ll likely stop for a drink and a bath.

Scientists have begun using species vocalizations to draw targeted wildlife to specific areas. Water fountains can work similarly by signifying a viable habitat. You’ll also contend with fewer bacteria and algae since fountain water constantly moves, making them more manageable to maintain.

2. Pond

pond-to-attract-wildlife-to-garden’s-aquatic-habitatsAlthough building a garden pond may take some effort, you’ll enjoy watching the hustle and bustle of wildlife in their aquatic habitat. Purchase a pond kit with straightforward assembly instructions or build an in-ground pond yourself.

Your pond should have a filtering mechanism to ensure clean water since lawn and garden runoff can harm species and cause algae build-up. Pond filters should recirculate water every two hours to remove harmful contaminants — the more water capacity, the faster the pump you’ll need.

There’s much to consider for a pond — such as the size, depth, slope, plants, and maintenance. Additionally, you might refrain from adding fish as they could eat whatever insects or larvae you’re trying to attract.

3. Water Garden

water-garden-to-attract-wildlife-to-garden’s-aquatic-habitatsApply your green thumb to create a beautiful water garden. Numerous water plants grow in and around ponds to entice various species. For example, floating marsh marigolds, water lettuce and frog bit float on the water and are well-liked by toads and frogs.

Submerged plants like hornworts and water violets help oxygenate the water and thrive at the lowest depths. You might also plant water lilies, iris, arrowheads, and forget-me-knots near the water’s edge or surrounding the feature.

However, always ensure any plants you add are native to your area. Invasive plant species can cause more harm than good.

4. Mud Puddles

mud-puddles-to-attract-wildlife-to-garden’s-aquatic-habitatsGlobally, butterfly species are declining. Yet, with a no-frills wildlife-friendly water feature, you can turn your garden into the perfect habitat to boost butterfly populations.

While water elements can be dangerous for butterflies, mud puddles provide enough moisture for survival. According to researchers, male butterflies participate in mud puddling — absorbing salt and transferring it to females during mating season.

Add a nondescript mud puddle near any installed water feature to lure stunning butterflies to your yard.

5. Bubbling Rock System

bubbling-rock-system-to-attract-wildlife-to-garden’s-aquatic-habitatsBubbling rock systems work similarly to fountain wildlife-friendly water features, attracting species with natural sounds. They also improve the natural aesthetics of your garden and can be attached to a small stream.

Install a bubbling rock feature near trees and shrubs for birds to come and go, ensuring their safety. Having flora nearby also delivers an accessible food source for avian species, small critters, and amphibians.

Bubbling rock water features make it much easier for species to find your garden — especially for those with acute hearing. For example, these systems are essential for migratory birds who must find a water source while on the move.

Create a Wildlife Oasis with Garden Water Features

Your garden should serve a dual purpose — an appealing feature of your home’s exteriors and a newly-restored habitat for local wildlife. When selecting the best water element for your garden, decide what species you hope to attract and their essential needs for the most effective aquatic habitats, making everyone happy.


Author Profile

Manuela WillboldOnline Media & PR Strategist
Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Fascinated to Write Lifestyle Blogs in News & Education I have completed a journalism summer course at the London School of Journalism and manage various blogs.

About Manuela Willbold 107 Articles
Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Fascinated to Write Lifestyle Blogs in News & Education I have completed a journalism summer course at the London School of Journalism and manage various blogs.

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